Kagame bought the most luxurious airoplane on earth living his people to languish in hunger

Published on by KANYARWANDA

Rwanda splurges on luxury jets

SA-registered company was set up to conceal ownership of aircraft

Feb 14, 2010 12:00 AM | By De Wet Potgieter and Raymond Joseph

The cash-strapped Rwandan government has splurged millions of rands on two ultra-luxury passenger jets to fly its president and VIPs around the world - and tried to hide ownership of the jets behind a South African-based company.

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TOP OF THE RANGE: One of a pair of ultra-luxury jets owned by the Rwandan government at Lanseria airport Picture: SEAN MOWATT
TOP OF THE RANGE: One of a pair of ultra-luxury jets owned by the Rwandan government at Lanseria airport Picture: SEAN MOWATT
quote 'Rwanda is battling to rebuild its fragile economy. The country is still dependent on international aid' quote

Rwanda is battling to rebuild its fragile economy after the 1994 genocide in which 800000 people were killed. The country is still dependent on international aid and donor funding.

The UN says 60% of Rwanda's mostly rural population live in poverty.

The pair of Bombardier Global Express BD-700 jets - with a new price tag of $50-million each - was acquired in 2003 and 2008, respectively.

They are "owned" by Repli Investments 29 (Pty) Ltd, a company registered in South Africa.

Repli has three directors, one based in Pretoria and the other two in Rwanda, according to official records of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro).

An investigation has revealed that the South African-based director, Paul Nyirubutma, works as second counsellor at the Rwandan embassy in Pretoria. The other directors, who are also believed to be Rwandan government officials, are Paul Manasseh Nshuti and Sekoko Harari. They live in Kigali.

Repli, which is involved in "financial intermediation", according to Cipro, was established in May 2008 and was set up to conceal the real ownership of the jets.

The jets, registrations ZS-ESA and ZS-XRS, are piloted by South Africans and "operated" by Lanseria-based ExecuJet.

A Rwandan embassy spokesman last week confirmed that Nyirubutma was a second councillor at the embassy, but denied knowledge of the jets or that his government owned them.

Nyirubutma this week confirmed that the jets were bought for the use of the Rwandan president, the vice-president and the country's prime minister. "We are from a troubled region that has a troubled history of genocide and civil war. We needed safe, secure and cost-effective planes for my country's VIPs. Security was paramount," he said.

Nyirubutma said he was appointed as one of the directors of Repli Investments to allow the government to have a say in the operations of the aircraft "for security reasons".

He said his government had decided to base the jets in South Africa because his country did not have the "skills, expertise or knowledge" to maintain them.

Both were available for charter when not needed by the Rwandan government.

"We went into a structure of partial ownership, basically to provide a right of first refusal and also to provide a level of control on the crafts' operations," Nyirubutma said.

The XRS Global Express corporate jet is described on Bombardier's official website as "the most luxurious, most accomplished business aircraft ever built ... accommodating the desires of the most sophisticated and demanding traveller with no compromise".

Aviation experts say the XRS is capable of flying "halfway around the world without refuelling".

It is one of the biggest business-class jets available .

ExecuJet's Steve Bothma refused to comment.

The newest jet, the ZS-XRS, has been photographed all over the world by aircraft spotters.

Spotter websites are abuzz with talk of the aircraft's Rwandan ownership.

People working at Lanseria say that it is an open secret that the jet is owned by Rwanda.

"Everyone here knows the jets are for the use of Rwandan president Paul Kagame and other government officials, and belong to his government," said a well-placed source at Lanseria, who asked not to be named.

"ExecuJet maintains the jet on behalf of Repli Investments and whenever Kagame needs to get to Europe, the UK or the US, the Rwandan government 'charters' this plane (ZS-XRS) from ExecuJet," said the source.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair is understood to have been a passenger on the aircraft on several occasions.

Andrew Siebert, a US-based plane spotter, photographed the aircraft at Boeing Field in Seattle last June.

He said in an e-mail: "It was carrying the Rwandan president at the time."

He added: "Someone commented on my photo saying the following: 'ZS-XRS is registered in Lanseria, but is actually based in Kigali, Rwanda, where it operates exclusively for the president of Rwanda.' "

Another plane spotter photographed the aircraft at Zurich Airport in January last year.

He wrote on his blog: "This 2007 Global Express XRS is appropriately registered as ZS-XRS to Repli Investments 29 (Pty) Ltd, but is being operated by ExecuJet South Africa, and on this flight was carrying the Rwandan delegation to the World Economic Forum."

He said when he photographed it, the aircraft had just come from Kigali.

Another plane spotter, known as "Drewski", wrote: "Whoa! South African reg'd GLEX. The person on board left the airport with an entourage of 10 SUVs and undercover police cars."

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<br /> <br /> Kanyarwanda i really question your integrity and qualifications as you claim..in any case i find your arguments compared to chicken -brained...much as you are entitled to your opinions you need<br /> to give credit where it is deserved...do you expect the President to hire planes from neighbouring countries or on the hand  do you wish that he buys one for himself and parks it at Kigali<br /> International Airport when he is not travelling like it is the case in Uganda,Kena,Tz etc...<br /> By leasing it to other clients is one way of cutting maintainance costs(put your so called economics into good use)<br /> Another point by claiming that both leaders are of the same breed just shows how shallow minded you are ,i recommend that you read Ugandan Newspapers so you get an idea of how the<br /> population equates the two heads of state.<br /> Just throw away your so called Phd and MA to the trash bin because they are of more harm to you than any good.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
<br /> You see the problem with Kagame people is one ,you always like abusing those who critique you guys instead of telling your side of the story to have a healthy argument because you are used to<br /> telling lies and go unchallenged now when the world is turning against your lies you are even abusing the flies flying in the "INGOMBE" of Mutara and the cooing chicken of Kubungo.man mature your<br /> president is an oppressor and a dictotaro like Bokasa no shortcut about it. in the regards of hiring a jet or buying it and park it at our airport Kanombe is not the case hear. the problem is that<br /> the plane far away too expensive for the budget of poor people of Rwanda did u do the culculation of how much it cost and found that the money it cost if distributed among Rwandans every family<br /> hold would be given 1,000USD?that is alot of money men in a country where the people of Gisovu are eating roots and surviving on boiled water?so dont cry just argue maturely and make your point<br /> kown and stop crying because the time of of cheap lies is over you know that<br /> <br /> <br />
<br /> well i will leave that to you<br /> If you understand economics basics , inequality is reflected in all economies<br /> Even in developed countries there are people who sleep on street there are poor people so if you expect kagame to have equal development in rwanda sorry<br /> <br /> well in those days Rwandese were brain washed where you had to get permission to travel to another province "landlocked" <br /> <br /> many things have changed so contribute developmental ideas instead of being negative<br /> <br /> <br />
<br /> hahahha dont lie because I am an original Rwandan and I schooled in Cyangugu I didnt have ID and went iruhande I dont know if you know where iruhande is since you sound to think that Rwanda started<br /> in 1990s according to your history.I didnt have ID actually I got my first ID when you attacked the country that is how you made things bad.so look at you know any new roads you have created?do you<br /> know a water project called ABAY still the pipes are still there unused those you managed to carry to umutara are the ones you claim as your initiatives every boy had water in his house. claiming<br /> of being brainwasherd lets talk about scholar since you claim to know economics.I have a PhD in international development and economics a MA in Intl politcs so there is nothing you can lie to me.I<br /> have worked in audstralia and europe currently im in norway so I am not talking out ofd emotions lunlike you.in rwanda people had electricity even in banana plantation,,,Rwanda used to be called a<br /> small Swiss of africa. do you still hear that. we had schools every where.ibiro bya secteur with concretes. so what have you done for us here in Rwanda.I was there in june last year what have you<br /> done for those poor people because i have even seen the tutsis whom you claim to have come to save are sitting on the road begging tourists. the only credit i can give you is that you know how to<br /> fabricate lies and spread them through your women that is all.now you have arrested mushyayidi he is a survivor pissed of that you came claiming to protect tutsis but you sacrificed them<br /> <br /> <br />
<br /> well removing Habyarimana was not only because of mismanagement of public assets. That dude was brain washing Rwandese while he planted pot in nyugngwe dealing it with french president and his<br /> son.<br /> <br /> look at the developments in 15yrs and compare them to past regime.<br /> look at the public accountability and good governence.<br /> <br /> like the last perosn, do you want him to go on commercial jet?<br /> <br /> That jet is bringing in income<br /> <br /> <br />
<br /> hahah so what development are you talking about while people in Kinyamakara and Miyove areeating roots man so if there is democracy where is Nyamwasa now?you are blinded by greediness coz u r<br /> eating u think that everybody else is eating come here in Nkumba and see how poor people have become and yet thisd area used to be the most fertile land in Rwanda I think you guys came with some<br /> curse that is Rwandans no longer produce enough<br /> <br /> <br />
<br />  This is what i have to say<br /> why do people look in others backyard?<br /> Did you expact to use Uganda approcah where the second hand plane which was bought by Ugandan gov't a few yrs ago from Australia worked for less than 10 yrs and was just sold at a lost last month<br /> at A BIG LOSS.<br /> Remember there are leasing it out to get some income so where is the problem<br /> It was hidden from people like you poke  in other people's life.<br /> <br /> <br />
<br /> I dont think there is any problem you have raised here and there is no kigali or kampala because the rulers are the same they were bred in the same environment so they do the same things they only<br /> care about their tribes not people<br /> <br /> <br />